Victoria State premier John Brumby’s decision to cancel a planned trip to Mumbai following a travel advisory warning of terrorist attacks in the city hasn’t gone down well with New Delhi.
Brumby, who arrives here on an official visit on Wednesday, was scheduled to visit Mumbai later in the week.
He altered his plans after Australia’s foreign affairs department on Friday issued a travel advisory warning about the possibility of attacks in Mumbai.
“Credible information indicates that terrorists may be planning further attacks in Mumbai, including at places frequented by tourists, in September or October 2009,” the advisory said.
“We need to be guided by advice that comes from DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). That advice came in last week and over the weekend. The unanimous view of the Victoria Police, my department head and my office was that I should change my program and I’ve done that,” Brumby was quoted by the PTI.
“I do that reluctantly but at the end of the day I need to follow that advice,” he said.
Senior South Block officials expressed surprise at the decision. “Mumbai is as safe as any other Indian city. It has hosted senior foreign government officials including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
Indian Consul-General in Melbourne Anita Nayar said the Premier should have visited Mumbai to send a message that Australians were determined not to be frightened away.
“It would have been great if the premier could have sent that message but I understand that there are constraints,” she was quoted as saying by the PTI.
Nayar added, “We would have liked him to visit Mumbai. (But) one can never predict what is going to happen. If he had gone and something happened, everybody would say why did you go?”